What is the Best Explanation for the Resurrection?

By James M. Rochford

We have considered five independent lines of evidence surrounding the resurrection of Jesus. But what is the best explanation for these historical facts?

(1) Early sources

(2) Execution

(3) Empty tomb

(4) Expectation of Resurrection

(5) Eyewitnesses

We’ll leave that to you to figure out. But remember, you cannot simply pick a theory based on your own personal bias or belief. You need a theory that explains the most amount of the data (i.e. explanatory scope), and explains it with the highest level of probability (i.e. explanatory power). To put this another way, you need a theory that isn’t simply possible, but probable. In our estimation, we contend that the resurrection of Jesus explains the most amount of data and makes the most sense out of it.

That’s up for you to decide for yourself. You are free to choose your beliefs for yourself, but let’s just say that you should choose wisely. Passing up on Jesus not only means that you’re passing up on the world’s best attested miracle, but it also means that you’re passing up on Jesus himself.

Jesus of Nazareth still captures the attention of modern people. But it would be unfair to say that he captures their attention in a purely academic sense. Billions of people across human history have found that Jesus has captured their hearts and minds—sometimes in the most inexplicable ways. People from all cultures, all ages, and all walks of life have found Jesus to be there for them, walking with them in their fears, comforting them in their sorrows, forgiving them in their failures, and releasing them from their shame. His presence still guides the aimless; his power still strengthens the hopeless; his love and forgiveness still bring modern people to tears.

This, then, is the final evidence for the resurrection of Christ: experiencing him personally.

Jesus is still alive today, knocking on the chamber of your heart, calling for you to find peace and rest in your soul (Mt. 11:28-30; Jn. 16:33). If you were simply studying about the history of a dead man, then you could leave the evidence in the library. But if you are truly studying the evidence of a Living Person, then this exercise cannot remain purely academic. Ultimately, you can find this Person by asking him to find you. And, according to millions of people today…

He will!